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Biodiesel Fuel

[Article 69 by kmyhr, 2001-08-13 | 3 Reviews | Review this article]

What is biodiesel fuel?

Biodiesel is a fuel that is made from soy beans, or waste vegetable oil(cooking oil). It can be used in place of petroleum diesel fuel for vehicles or heating oil for buildings. Unlike petroleum diesel, biodiesel is a renewable resource, and it creates less pollution than petroleum diesel. It can be used alone or in combination with petroleum diesel, or with heating oil. Generally, no expensive modifications to the engines are required. This makes it easier to integrate biodiesel into current systems than other alternative energy sources, which often require new equipment.

How is biodiesel made?

Biodiesel fuel is made from oils or fats, which are both hydrocarbons, most commonly soybean oil. These hydrocarbons are filtered, then mixed with an alcohol, which is usually methanol, and a catalyst (sodium or potassium hydroxide). The major products of this reaction are the biodiesel fuel, which is an ester, and glycerol, which has commercial uses, such as in cosmetics.

How is biodiesel labeled?

Biodiesel is designated by the letter B and a number representing the percent of the fuel that is biodiesel. The rest of the fuel is petroleum diesel. For example, a mixture of 20% biodiesel and 80% petroleum diesel would be labeled B20. This ratio of biodiesel to petroleum diesel is commonly used.

What are the advantages of biodiesel fuel?

What are the disadvantages of biodiesel fuel?

Where is biodiesel fuel being used now?

Where can you find out more about biodiesel?

Where can you find out more about diesel engines?

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